So Roman comes home from school every day with paperwork on his day- I internally refer to this is the scary sheet. Along the top, teachers circle “Specials” attended (P.E., Art, Computer, Library, Music), as well as therapies of the day: Speech, O.T., and Social Skills. Below, a spreadsheet lists all his IEP goals to the left, along with columns for comments and data to the right.
Every week, along with variable successes in counting and letter recognition, there is a well-documented and steady stream of:
- zoning out- no interest in work, not listening, trouble following directions
- poor transitions- running, loud voice, purposeful stalling in the bathroom, various charming behaviors to flummox his female teachers (Mmmm- I like you!)
- social anxiety- hiding behind the bleachers during music, sporadically unable to come into the classroom from the hallway, into the noisy cafeteria at lunchtime, or onto the school bus with his aide
- profanity- you get the idea!
His attention is extremely variable, and behaviors do follow. It is eternally humbling to read that your 10-year old ripped off his shirt in class while yelling “Jesus!” Mercifully, that’s a rare day- Roman mostly shows frustration by removing his shoes, a pair of double-knotted high-top Keens. This oft-performed move is one part Ghandi, one part Houdini- and however many parts remain are a super pain.
That’s why I am sneaking a fisherman’s knot into each of his shoes today- I learned the magic of this particular lacing wonder firsthand during a grueling hiking retreat with my sister in Mexico two years ago. Fact: if your hiking boots wander on your feet while you hobble up and down mountainsides for 10 miles every day over the span of a week, then your feet become very sad. A helpful guide showed me how to unlace my boots halfway down, and tie a voodoo knot there that keeps your shoes still, even when you are not.
I completely forgot the trick until last week, when my Roller Derby Lite instructor offhandedly referred to "extreme lacing" to relieve skater's foot. But that’s what hiking retreats and child birthing do to you- wipe the memory board clean! Somehow, I believe that Roman will find a way to outsmart me on this, but I’ll keep you posted.
I will add another knot to the next row, and update on progress...